The Wales Open will resume tomorrow with a little-known Australian eyeing the main prize and with its star attraction nowhere to be seen.

Open champion Padraig Harrington crashed out of Celtic Manor when a second round 74 sent him to his first missed cut on European soil since October 2006.

As Harrington went to hand in his scorecard he had a glance at the player being interviewed for television and it was a fair bet he knew as little about him as the watching crowd.

Scott Strange, a 31-year-old from Perth ranked 164th in the world, is the man the rest have to try to catch after marvellous rounds of 63 and 66 on the newly unwrapped lay-out where Europe and America will do Ryder Cup battle in two years' time.

At 13 under par he leads the race for the £300,000 winner's cheque by four from English pair Benn Barham and Robert Dinwiddie, Spain's Alvaro Velasco and Indian Jeev Milkha Singh.

Former winner Robert Karlsson, third in each of the last three tournaments and with a point to prove after three-putting from three feet on the final green at Wentworth on Sunday when still in with a chance to win, is in the group one further back.

Two wins on the Asian Tour have been the highlight of Strange's professional career so far, but in his first full season as a European Tour member he has already finished joint runner-up at the Johnnie Walker Classic in India.

"I'd love to win on every tour and to win here would be fantastic," he said.

"Playing in Asia is different to here, but I'm adapting quite well."

Asked what his first impressions of this particular course were Strange replied: "I was swimming down the fairways it was so wet."

Harrington liked what he saw on first view, but come the tournament he was never able to produce anything like the form that brought him his first major title at Carnoustie last July.

That remains his last victory, but he is staying upbeat about the US Open the week after next.

After bowing out on two over, a massive 15 strokes behind Strange, the Dubliner said he still felt good about Torrey Pines, adding:
"It's actually been quite a positive week."

He thinks he has found something in his putting even though he admitted he putted "abominably" and said: "This just convinces me to be more committed in my decision-making.

"You never like to miss the cut. It only affects you, but it is your own pride. It's an interesting game this - I could play a lot worse and make the cut."

A hefty six-figure appearance fee was reported to have been paid for him to make a debut in the event (he preferred the Wales Open to last week's PGA Championship at Wentworth), but when that was mentioned Harrington just smiled and asked: "How's the weather?"

As the headline attraction, though, the disappointment of his failure was more keenly felt.

"That doesn't help. I have enough experience of being in that situation that it doesn't get to you, but you are fighting it a little bit harder. It's not like I wasn't trying."

Colin Montgomerie's 68 for five under, one better than Darren Clarke, meant he was not out of the running, although it needed a major effort over the weekend just to get into the hunt, but last year's winner Richard Sterne and runner-up Bradley Dredge headed out along with Harrington.

Yorkshire's Danny Willett, whose European Tour debut as an amateur two months ago began with an eagle, made the cut in his first professional event by chipping in at the last for another.